I have never felt closer to God than I do now. It’s always when I am far from what is familiar that I feel close to Him. As I left Salt Lake City again and headed towards Brazil I left under different circumstances. I will only be here for six months. It’s just an extended vacation (with classes).
As I looked out my window over the plane’s wing I found a dark sky. The woman sitting to my side was also having a hard time sleeping. She was in her seventies, named Cristina. She was very friendly, a native Brazilian that travelled to the United States to be a catholic missionary. Similar circumstances to mine, I went to Brazil the first time as a missionary. We talked a little bit but I couldn’t fall asleep. I continued to look out the window to avoid her friendly, smiling gaze. It was somewhat awkward once she fell asleep facing me.
This was a gift from God. My eyes locked onto the end of the wing. Looking out windows lets me appreciate the world. There was a lightning storm out my window for at least 30 minutes while we were over the ocean. It was beautiful. I can’t believe how little and insignificant I am. To think about all the different people that I flew over in that small span of 20 hours. All the different families I saw. Millions and millions of people passed underneath me, in front of me, behind me, spoke to me...they add up quickly if you consider every contact and connection you have during the day. I realized that I really am nobody. But it’s a good kind of nobody, it’s a nobody that likes being nobody. It makes me happy because in being nobody I am significant. That doesn’t actually makes sense, but you get the idea. To be safe, if you want to quote me because you found it particularly profound you could say “nobody once said...” then if others don't like it that's why nobody said it. Nobody like me.
I feel love for people I don’t know. That’s why I have felt close to God during these few days of traveling. When I encounter other people’s realities the world gets smaller. Utah is a misrepresentation of the world at large.
It’s good to leave BYU. The bubble had me in a choke-hold. I feel free here. When I choose to do good things it feels better than when I feel forced. I actually do more good things under these circumstance, I’ve already had the opportunity to serve and to love. I feel the desire more now than ever.
I went to a bar. I don’t drink but I just talked to people there. I was trying to meet my fellow students as many of them were there. I know it’s true that you have to find darkness in order to be a light. Darkness could mean a lot of things: lost, lonely, poor, drunk, dead, sick ... just about anything fits. I’m not saying that those people were in darkness just because they drink, but some really are lonely. Hopefully I can be a light to somebody while here in Brazil, I just have to look where there is darkness. This truth applies to my chosen field of education. Teachers are best for kids that need direction, not ones that need more good grades. It’s in the darkness that I am able to shine most as a teacher. So, into the caverns of darkness I must plunge, you can come too if you bring your flashlight and some love (Bright Eyes reference).